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Why Apple Still Needs Tim Cook

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) has begun to recover from its horrendous slide from $705 to $389. Since the slide began, many people have been calling for CEO Tim Cook's head -- figuratively, of course.

Some folks who blamed him for the entire decline then had the gall to say he had nothing to do with the stock's recent bounce.

Talk about not giving credit where credit is due. If you have the opinion that Cook has done nothing to cause this bounce (even with the 15% dividend increase and the $60 billion stock buyback program), then that's fine. But just don't say the decline is his fault, too. That would just be unfair, and you know it.

Shareholders might want a visionary to steer Apple, and that's fine, but don't rule out Cook's importance.


There's no doubt that having someone like Steve Jobs at the helm of Apple was crucial. The combination of his product vision and demanding -- some would say ruthless -- business style made it possible for the company to rise to the top.

But for Apple to really fire on all cylinders, it needs a smart operations guy -- a nerd, really. Someone who can crunch the numbers and know precisely the most efficient way to accomplish a specific task, whether it has to do with supply chain management, inventory or shipping. Doing these tasks most efficiently is what allows for fat margins, and investors love fat margins.

Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs continually stressed Tim Cook's importance to the company. Although Jobs was able to reduce inventory from two months to one month, Cook was able to get it down to six days. Jobs would later go on to say that, "He and I saw things exactly the same way."

Apple still has Jony Ive too, Jobs' right-hand man in coming up with many of the products that we love today, such as the iPhone and iPad. Although Jobs may have taken credit for a lot of these products -- something that drove Ive nuts and was highlighted in the biography -- it doesn't mean Ive didn't have a very important role in the finished the product.


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